Nrama: Woah. This is a comic book news website, but you just can’t gloss over something called the “Omni-Fist of Altruism.” What is it, exactly?
Haspiel: The Omni-Fist of Altruism is a Catch-22 combination of a cosmic death-grip and Spider-Man's "Spidey-Sense."
Nrama: Ok, and who is super thief who obtains it?
Haspiel: Sam Brosia was born and bred in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York, almost a century after Steve Rogers (who later became Captain America) was raised there. Sam lost most of his immediate family to a mysterious massacre that left him making ends meet alone in the ghetto of Red Hook and led him to a failed career as an amateur boxer and into a successful career as a masked super-thief like a modern-day Robin Hood. Only, instead of robbing the rich to give to the poor, Sam robs the rich to make himself less poor until a chance meeting with a super-god changes his life.
Nrama: This isn't the real world -- it's a future where Brooklyn seceded from the United States. What's it like, living in that Brooklyn compared to our own?
Haspiel: I can only speak to what I experience and then abstract it in my art. In current, real-time Brooklyn, the cultural community of working art-makers is being threatened by real-estate developers selling off work spaces for higher rents to more established and/or secure businesses in less-than-desirable industrial areas in order to create the verisimilitude of "hot spots" to entice wealthy residents. I don't know who these real-estate brokers think are going to want to live yards away from the Gowanus Canal, infamous for its toxic waters, but they don't care as long as they can boot the avant-garde for more commercial and standard appeal. It's become a crisis for people like me, a native New York cartoonist, who feels like he's being banished from the only home I've ever known and actively contributed to just because I don't ping a certain tax-bracket. I work seven days a week, 12-hours or more a day and make just enough money to squeak by in what's become the most expensive city in America. I'm lucky to be able to do what I love but I pay for it, too. Alas, I don't know that I can survive a break-even lifestyle anymore.
In The Red Hook and the “New Brooklyn” comix, the “Heart of Brooklyn” was wounded by the paramount evidence of a self-entitled, attention deficit disorder society ignoring the promise of a better tomorrow. Brooklyn shrugs and throws down the gauntlet by physically pulling away from further interference, suggesting humanity return back to days of old where things and people were defined by their ethics, values and contributions. Where skills and art could be bartered and traded and land could be farmed to sustain life and spawn beauty. “New Brooklyn” is my romantic response to the fantasy of a city I love.
Read the entire interview/article here: